Home Featured ECR’s IndyCar plan for Josh Pierson now not pinned tightly on 2025

ECR’s IndyCar plan for Josh Pierson now not pinned tightly on 2025

by Ida Wood

Photo: Travis Hinkle

Ed Carpenter Racing launched its junior team in 2022, signing Josh Pierson and announcing a plan to get him in IndyCar by 2025. That target date is now being relaxed.

Pierson was signed after coming third in the World Endurance Championship’s LMP2 class, and with no single-seater experience above USF2000. He was sent to Indy Nxt on a two-year programme, but did less than two thirds of the 2023 season and had a best finish of sixth. This year will be his first full campaign, and was set to be his last.

The 18-year-old says ECR’s plan continues to be getting him in IndyCar next year, “but we have made some leeway there”.

“I’m kind of looking to Ed [Carpenter, ECR’s team boss]. ‘Hey, Ed, am I ready? Am I not?’. What’s his thought process? I don’t want to rush it. I want it to be precise, I want it to be the right move, the right decision. So I’m not going to rush it. And if Ed says I’m ready and we try make something happen, then that’s great.

“But if he says I’m not, and we have to look towards Indy Nxt or something else in the future, then that’s fine as well. I just want to make sure that I’m ready to go to IndyCar, and it’s not making a sporadic decision just to meet the deadline that we set.”

Pierson added that “it’s hard to say” what Carpenter’s criteria is for him being IndyCar-ready.

“Do you quantify it being the championship win in Indy Nxt? Do you quantify it being something that he sees in the data or my driving and says ‘hey, wow, that’s really good, that looks quality enough to go to IndyCar’. What is the fine line?” he said.

“I think it’s really a combination of a lot of things: better results in Indy Nxt, being a more consistent frontrunner in Indy Nxt, and also them seeing improvements in my data, in my video, in my driving. And then also having a shine in an Indy car. A chance to show what I’m worth in the actual car.”

Pierson reckons ECR has not provided specifics as “they didn’t want to put that pressure on”, and is liking that it is providing “more time to learn, more time to adapt” as a result.

“I’m not too concerned about making it happen for next year. Am I ready or not? I guess only time will tell.”

Pierson says ECR has “done lots of really good stuff” for him so far, including providing simulator time, and anticipates this year he will do an IndyCar test.

“Last year I was on the pit box at almost all the races, listening in, usually with the #20 car. This year should be the same, and I’m going to be making more of an effort this year to, in between sessions, going over there, sitting in with debriefs, working with the team more. I’m very comfortable around Rinus [VeeKay] and Christian [Rasmussen, ECR’s drivers].”